All Berrien County residents ages 16 and over now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination

BENTON HARBOR — The Berrien County Health Department and Spectrum Health Lakeland are moving forward with expanded eligibility for COVID-19 vaccination for all residents ages 16 and up beginning today.

Although eligibility has expanded, Berrien County vaccination partners will continue to prioritize residents based on highest risk, including older residents, those with underlying medical conditions, and frontline/essential workers.

Allocations of the COVID-19 vaccine continue to increase each week throughout the state, including in Berrien County. Local providers are receiving weekly shipments of Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccines, with only the Pfizer vaccine being administered to those ages 16 and 17 with parental consent.

This increase in supplies has allowed the Berrien County Health Department and Spectrum Health Lakeland to hold large mass-vaccination events in several communities across the county, as well as smaller, more targeted pop-up clinics, officials said.. To date, more than 45,500 residents have received a first dose of the vaccine with nearly 71,000 total doses administered by the Berrien County Health Department, Spectrum Health Lakeland, several federally qualified health centers and pharmacy partners. This number represents approximately 37 percent of Berrien County residents who are now protected against COVID-19 with a safe and effective vaccine.

With COVID-19 cases on the rise throughout the State of Michigan, including in Berrien County, residents are urged to continue taking precautions to slow the spread of the virus. Continued diligence with social distancing, hand hygiene, use of face coverings, and remaining at home if feeling signs of illness are crucial at this time. In addition to these personal prevention actions, community members are also strongly encouraged to consider receiving a COVID-19 vaccine to protect themselves and those around them.

Appointments are available online for self-scheduling at the Berrien County Health Department and Spectrum Health Lakeland websites. Residents with limited internet access are encouraged to call the Berrien County Health Department at 19800) 815-5485 or Spectrum Health Lakeland at (269) 927-5100 for assistance in scheduling appointments. New appointment availability is added regularly throughout the week and is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. All vaccination clinics are still operating by appointment only at this time.

More information about COVID-19 and vaccination efforts in Berrien County is available at bchdmi.org/COVID19 or spectrumhealthlakeland.org/COVID19.

 

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